Questions raised as air cargo growth slips in May

With air cargo demand growth slowing again in May, analyst WorldACD has tried to pinpoint whether this is a one-off dip, or signs of growing weakness.
According the analyst’s latest figures, global air cargo volumes increased by 2.6% year on year in May, compared with growth of 4.3% over the first five months and last year demand was up 9.6%.
It said that Chile (58%), Japan (18%), Canada (17%) and the US (5.8%) outperformed other regions, while India, Russia, western Europe all registered declines.
On the yield front there was a 7.1% increase in euro terms and a 14.4% jump in dollars.
"The development in air cargo in the month of May 2018 confirms a downward growth trend noticed since the start of this year, but growth it is nonetheless,” said WorldACD.
“The fear of growing protectionism is real, and that fear may well play a role in a shift away from consumption.
“Will the whole world suffer? To what extent will some regions feel the heat of the trade war (mongering) more than others? Impossible to tell?”
The analyst looked at quarterly GDP growth compared with air cargo volume increases over the last few years to see if this provided some indication of how demand would develop.
However, WorldACD concluded it was no longer possible to use a general ratio between GDP and air cargo growth.
“Neither is it possible to assume that growth in any geographical area will ‘automatically’ benefit the carriers based in that area,” the analyst said.
“The African carrier group was the only one improving its (small) market share in all regions. So did carriers from Asia Pacific, except in their home area. Carriers from the Americas increased their market share in three regions, but lost share in both North and South America.
“The group of Middle Eastern carriers lost share in three regions, including their home area, and gained in Europe and Latin America. Lastly, the group of European carriers gained share everywhere, except in their home market.”
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